NAIA lounge operator sued for faking contracts

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Airport ground support concessionaire Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc. (PAGSS) is facing raps for allegedly falsifying lease contracts to operate two lounges at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminal 1.

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The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) filed the case against PAGSS president Janet Cordero, it said in a statement released over the weekend.

According to MIAA spokesperson David De Castro, PAGSS operates two lounges at NAIA—one contract was since 1993, and another was acquired in 2014.

“When the contracts ended, PAGSS was allowed to go on a month-to-month basis,” De Castro told The Manila Times in a phone interview over the weekend.

However, in May this year, De Castro said, the MIAA announced that the lounge spaces occupied by PAGSS would be bid out, canceling the concessionaire’s privilege to operate under a month-to-month contract.

“Early in May, MIAA came out with an announcement that they would be bidding out the lounges, and we will not renew their month-to-month contract,” De Castro said.

The concessionaire, however, contested the advice only after the pre-bidding conference was conducted late in May, according to Castro.

He said Cordero provided a fake contract for each of the lounges her company operated, adding that the contracts were valid for February 2015 to 2016.

“They joined the pre-bidding conference but they did not contest,” De Castro said. “It was only after the pre-bidding that they sent in a letter to MIAA.”

MIAA claims that besides faking the lease contracts, PAGSS also forged the signatures of MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado and MIAA chief legal officer Atty. Perla Dumo.

MIAA said the documents signed by Cordero and dated January 2015 were noticeably forged, and were not filed with any of the corporate offices of the MIAA.

Inconsistencies regarding document markings were also noted about the contracts, the airport authority said.

“This case of falsification has caused management great concern,” MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado said. “Not only has it compromised the years that the current administration has spent in implementing the tenets of “daang matuwid.” but it has also damaged public trust. I will make sure that those at fault will be brought to justice.”

PAGSS has been occupying space for two lounges at Terminal 1: a 344-square-meter lounge rented out at P227,040 monthly since 1999, and a 118.27-square-meter lounge at a rate of P59,246 monthly since 2014.

Contacted by The Manila Times, Cordero said the complaint had not reached her yet.

“It would be premature to answer now, as I haven’t seen the complaint yet,” Cordero told The Manila Times in a text message.

Cordero, however, maintained that she does not have anything to do with the alleged falsification of documents.

“One thing is definite though,” she said. “I am innocent of the alleged falsification and will never be part of such.”

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